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July & August 2016




Take a Winner to the Beach || Practical Tree Houses and Fantastic Forts || New in PAPERBACK || What To READ || Author of the Month: Roach & Sjón || Holy Smoke || A Mysterious Summer Awaits You || THIN AIR 2016: September 31 to October 1 || The Word on the Street 2016 || DIFFERENCE: The Physics of Sorrow & Ladivine || What Do Parents Do When the Experts Disagree? || Olympic Trials || Personal Politics || Angela Merkel, Queen of Europe || Nature's Ways || Great New Summer Fiction || What's the Big Idea? || Cool Trips

Tem-Purr-A: Come & Get It! || Designer Stationery by Christian Lacroix || Life's a Picnic || Community Classroom: Water Lessons || Our Sights & Sounds: CDs, LPs, DVDs, and Blu-Rays || Our Vibrant Communities: What's Coming Up in Winnipeg & Saskatoon || Prairie Ink: Cool Summer Drinks

Cool and Stylish Summer Wear for Your Baby || Hands-on Fun Books for You & Your Baby || Teething Jewellery & Accessories for Wee Ones || Summertime Storytime! || An interview with Esme Shapiro || Summer Fun at McNally Robinson || It's a Potter Party || Ravaaga's Magical Wands || Summer Boredom Busters || Beach Toys for Girls & Boys || Summer Reading Club || Two Thumbs Up || ICYMI: Teen Novels now in Paperback || The Runaways || The "Be First" Book Club || The Teen Watch List


Take a Winner to the Beach

2016 Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction
The Glorious Heresies by Lisa McInerney. One messy murder affects the lives of five misfits who exist on the fringes of Ireland's post-crash society in this biting, moving and darkly funny novel that explores salvation, shame and the legacy of Ireland's twentieth-century attitudes to sex and family. (Softcover. $16.99. John Murray)

2015 Governor General’s Literary Award for Fiction
 Daddy Lenin by Guy Vanderhaeghe. Set in western Canada, in both urban and rural locations, these nine stories are both timely and timeless and showcase Vanderhaeghe’s talent as a storyteller and poignant observer of the human condition. "An entertaining return to the form that launched its author’s literary career.” —Globe and Mail (Softcover. $19.95. Emblem)

2016 International Dublin Literary Award
 Family Life by Akhil Sharma. When eight-year-old Ajay, his brother Birju and their mother join their father in the USA, America is everything they could have hoped for — until tragedy strikes, leaving one brother severely brain-damaged and the other lost in a strange land. Ajay prays to a God he envisions as a Superman longing to find his place amid the ruins of his family's new life. (Softcover. $17.95. Norton)

2016 Stephen Leacock Memorial Medal for Humour
 Republic of Dirt by Susan Juby. Prudence Burns is an idealistic Brooklyn girl who has inherited a derelict plot of land named Woefield Farm. When Prudence is felled by a thyroid condition, her motley crew of farm hands struggles to keep the farm running. Republic of Dirt is about what happens when passions collide with pride and what it takes to save each other. (Softcover. $16.99. HarperCollins)

2016 McNally Robinson Book of the Year Award
The Reason You Walk by Wab Kinew. Invoking hope, healing and forgiveness, Kinew's memoir is a poignant story of a towering but damaged father and his son as they embark on a journey to repair their family bond. By turns lighthearted and solemn, Kinew gives an inspiring vision for family and cross-cultural reconciliation, and a wider conversation about the future of aboriginal peoples. (Hardcover. $32.00. Penguin)

2016 City of Saskatoon and Public Library Saskatoon Book Award
The Afterlife of Birds by Elizabeth Philips. In a life that is going nowhere, Henry Jett finds solace in his passion for rebuilding the skeletons of birds and animals. In a deeply felt debut novel about obsession and loneliness, Philips demonstrates the beauty of ordinary lives and finding our place in the world. (Softcover. $21.95. Freehand Books)

2016 University of Regina Book of the Year Award & 2016 Muslims for Peace and Justice Fiction Award
 A Beauty by Connie Gault. In a Saskatchewan village in the 1930s, Elena Huhtala is an object of pity — until a stranger comes to town driving a Lincoln Roadster. A captivating novel about a woman who touches many lives, and sometimes alters them forever. (Softcover. $21.00. M&S)

016 University of Saskatchewan Non-Fiction Award
 #IdleNoMore by Ken Coates. Launched by four women in Saskatchewan in reaction to a federal omnibus budget bill, Coates shows how the Idle No More protest movement became a powerful demonstration of Aboriginal identity that has empowered a confident generation of youth who will shape Canada for years to come. (Softcover. $27.95. University of Regina Press)

2016 Man Booker International Prize
 The Vegetarian by Han Kang, translated from the Korean by Deborah Smith. Disturbingly beautiful, The Vegetarian is not only a novel about modern day South Korea, it is also a novel about shame, desire and our faltering attempts to understand others, from one imprisoned body to another. (Softcover. $16.50. Granta)

2016 Pulitzer Prize for Biography
 Barbarian Days by William Finnegan. To outsiders, surfing looks like a sport. To initiates, it is a beautiful addiction, a way of life. Raised in California and Hawaii, Finnegan has chased waves all over the world. In his finely crafted memoir, he explores his passion for surfing to reveal an exacting but little-understood art. (Softcover. $23.00. Penguin)

2016 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction & 2016 Pen/Faulkner Award for Fiction
The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen. A gripping spy novel, a moving story of love and friendship, and a layered portrayal of a young man drawn into extreme politics, The Sympathizer examines the legacy of the Vietnam War in literature, film and the wars of today. (Softcover. $22.95. Grove/Atlantic)

2016 Best Translated Book Award for Fiction
 Signs Preceding the End of the World by Yuri Herrera, translated from the Spanish by Lisa Dillman. Makina, a young woman who knows only too well how to survive in a macho world, leaves her life in Mexico to search for her brother. She is smuggled into the USA carrying a pair of secret messages: one from her mother and one from the Mexican underworld. (Softcover. $20.50. And Other Stories)

2016 RBC Taylor Prize
Stalin's Daughter by Rosemary Sullivan. Svetlana Stalina, who died in 2011 at the age of eighty-five, was the only daughter and the last surviving child of Josef Stalin. Beyond Stalina's controversial defection to the US in a cloak-and-dagger escape via India in 1967, her journey from life as the beloved daughter of a fierce autocrat to death in small-town Wisconsin is an astonishing saga. (Softcover. $18.50. Penguin)


Practical Treehouses and Fantastic Forts

The idea of having a fantasy house in the treetops appeals to pretty much everyone. But building a treehouse the right way takes a lot of thought, planning, hard work and attention to detail. The Perfect Treehouse by Django Kroner is here to help you dream big, but more importantly to help you create a practical tree house design so you can build your dream treehouse in a realistic and achievable way. (Hardcover. $33.99. F&W. July)

Forts are universal play places. You can make them almost anywhere, out of almost anything. Fantastic Forts by Jo Schofield & Fiona Danks includes basic construction tips on how to build a fort, waterproof and furnish it, and specific advice on several different kinds of forts, including: Sleep Out Forts, Party Forts, Beach Forts, Nature Detective Forts, Fairy Forts, Miniature Forts, and Treehouses. (Softcover. $23.99. Frances Lincoln. May)



JULY 30% OFF: The Japanese Lover by Isabel Allende. $22.00. Our July 30% Off Price: $15.40. In 1939, as Poland falls under the shadow of the Nazis, Alma Belasco’s parents send her to live with an aunt and uncle in San Francisco. There, as the rest of the world goes to war, she encounters Ichimei Fukuda, the gentle son of the family’s Japanese gardener. But their tender love affair is cut short after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor when Ichimei and his family, like thousands of other Japanese Americans, are sent to internment camps. But this is not the end. It is just the beginning of an epic love story in a novel that spans generations. (Atria. July)

AUGUST 30% OFF: The Nature of the Beast by Louise Penny. $18.50. Our August 30% Off Price: $12.95. Hardly a day goes by when nine year old Laurent Lepage doesn't cry wolf. From alien invasions, to walking trees, to winged beasts in the woods, to dinosaurs spotted in the village, his tales are so extraordinary no one can possibly believe him, including the former head of homicide for the Sûreté du Québec, Armand Gamache, who has retired to Three Pines with his wife. But when the boy disappears, Gamache and the villagers are faced with the possibility that one of his tall tales might have been true. (Minotaur. August)

 A Banquet of Consequences by Elizabeth George. $22.00. The unspoken secrets and buried lies of one family rise to the surface in Elizabeth George’s newest novel of crime, passionand tragic history, featuring Detective Sergeant Barbara Havers and Detective Inspector Thomas Lynley. The suicide of William Goldacre is devastating to those left behind. Not only do they have to deal with its unintended consequences, the suspicion lingers that there is a link between the young man’s leap from a Dorset cliff and a horrific poisoning in Cambridge. (Penguin. July) 

 Underground in Berlin by Marie Jalowicz Simon, translated by Anthea Bell. $21.00. Berlin, 1941. Marie Jalowicz Simon, a nineteen year-old Jewish woman, makes an extraordinary decision. While all around her Jews are being rounded up, Marie decides to survive. By turns thrilling and terrifying, Underground in Berlin is the autobiographical account of a young Jewish woman who survived the war by going underground. (Vintage. August)

 After Alice by Gregory Maguire. $19.99. From the author of Wicked comes a magical new twist on Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, published to coincide with the 150th anniversary of Carroll’s classic. When Alice toppled down the rabbit-hole 150 years ago, she found a Wonderland as rife with inconsistent rules and abrasive egos as the world she left behind. But what of that world? How did 1860s Oxford react to Alice’s disappearance? In his latest novel, Maguire offers an inventive spin on Carroll’s enduring tale. (William Morrow. July)

 Voices in the Ocean by Susan Casey. $22.00. With their playfulness, sociability and intelligence, dolphins seem like an aquatic mirror of humankind. In recent decades, scientists have discovered dolphins recognize themselves in reflections, count, feel despondent, adorn themselves, rescue each other, deduce, infer, form cliques, throw tantrums, gossip and scheme. Susan Casey, author of The Wave, combines personal reporting, scientific research and evocative prose in this fascinating look at the other intelligent life on the planet. (Doubleday. July)

 Purity by Jonathan Franzen. $21.00. When Purity Tyler, known to all as Pip, takes an internship in South America with the world-famous Sunlight Project, she becomes obsessed, like numerous women before her, with the president Andreas Wolf. They have an intense, unsettling relationship until he finds her work back in the United States. That's the top story. What lies underneath Franzen's latest novel is a tale of hidden identities, secret wealth, neurotic fidelity and murder. (Anchor. August)

 The Heart Goes Last by Margaret Atwood. $22.00. Several years after a global economic collapse, Stan and Charmaine, a married couple struggling to stay afloat, hear about the Positron Project, an experiment in cooperative living in the town of Consilience. It appears to be the answer to their problems There’s just one drawback: once inside, you don’t get out. Imagining a world where citizens take turns as prisoners and jailers, Margaret Atwood delivers a harrowing novel about liberty, power and the irrepressibility of the human appetite. (Emblem. August)

 Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari. $23.00. Single people today have more romantic options than at any point in human history. With technology, our abilities to connect with and sort through these options are staggering. So why are so many people frustrated? Combining Ansari’s irreverent humour with cutting-edge social science, Modern Romance is a hilarious, thoughtful and in-depth exploration of the pleasures and perils of modern romance from one of this generation’s sharpest comedic voices. (Penguin. June)

 Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights by Salman Rushdie. $21.00. The latest novel by the Booker Prize-winning author is a wildly imaginative tale narrated by our descendants 1000 years hence as they look back on “The War of the Worlds” that began when the storms pummelled New York so hard that a crack appeared in the universe. A mesmerizing modern tale about worlds colliding, the monsters that are unleashed when reason recedes, and a beautiful testament to the power of love and humanity in chaotic times. (Vintage. July)

 The Blue Guitar by John Banville. $22.00. Self-aggrandizing and self-deprecating, Oliver Otway Orme is a painter of some renown and a petty thief, who steals only for pleasure. He has never been caught — until now. The fact that Olly has been caught stealing his best friend's wife, however, has compelled him to run away from his mistress, his home, his wife, the remains of his impulse to paint, and from a tragedy that has long haunted him. From the Man Booker Prize-winning author of The Sea, comes a novel about the ways we learn to possess one another and hold on to ourselves. (Vintage. August)

 A Full Life by Jimmy Carter. $22.99. From rural obscurity, Jimmy Carter — businessman, politician, evangelist and humanitarian — went on to win world fame and universal respect. Now at ninety, he reflects on his public and private life with a disarming frankness as he tells what he isproud of and what he might do differently. He is frank about the presidents who succeeded him, world leaders, and his passions for the causes he cares most about. (Simon & Schuster. July)

 Slade House by David Mitchell. $21.00. A small black metal door set into the wall: no handle, no keyhole, but at your touch it opens onto a sunlit garden, sloping up to a house that doesn't quite make sense. In Mitchell’s latest novel, five "guests" separated by nine years enter Slade House for a brief visit, only to vanish without a trace from the outside world. Who draws them to the heart of Slade House, and why is the house missing from maps? Beginning in 1979 and ending in 2015, these five interlacing narratives blend mystery, realism and the supernatural. (Vintage. July)


What To READ

With the passing of the literary torch to a new generation, Chris Hall, a passionate reader with almost 20 years of bookselling experience, has taken up the challenge of continuing Holly McNally’s stewardship of our What to Read suggestions with personal recommendations that reflect attention to the care and craft of good writing.

 Among the Ten Thousand Things by Julia Pierpont. Softcover. $22.00. The Shanleys are a prosperous family living in New York. Father Jack is a successful artist, Deb is happy raising fifteen year-old Simon and eleven year-old Kay. But Jack has done something terrible and selfish and Deb has to face the weaknesses of the man she married, while Simon and Kay are forced to deal with a grown-up world they are not quite prepared for. The power of this novel lies in the portrayal of the characters, all of them very real, with their own particular strengths and weaknesses. (Random House. June)

 The Portable Veblen by Elizabeth McKenzie. Hardcover. $34.00. With its exuberance and humour, this is a perfect novel for the summer. It tells the story of Veblen (named after the economist who coined the term “conspicuous consumption”) and her fiancé, Paul, as they deal with a hypochondriac mother, institutionalized father, and a high stakes deal with the Department of Defence for his medical research findings. McKenzie produces a bold and chaotic satire of our times, as the pair try to keep the peace and repair the damage involved in their upcoming wedding. (Penguin. January)

 Our Souls at Night by Kent Haruf. Softcover. $20.00. Last year we lost an unreasonable number of great authors. Lost under the radar was Kent Haruf, which is strangely fitting since he and his novels have always been easy to overlook. Quiet and understated, they’re as subtle as a prairie landscape. This last novel is the spare yet eloquent, bittersweet story of a man and a woman who, in advanced age, come together to wrestle with the events of their lives and their hopes for the imminent future. I recommend it as I do all of his novels. (Vintage. July)

 The Association of Small Bombs by Karan Mahajan. Hardcover. $34.00. This novel opens with a bomb going off in a marketplace in Delhi in 1996 that claims the lives of young brothers Tushar and Nakul Khurana. The rest of the novel is the story of the boys’ family and friends as well as the perpetrators as they try to piece their lives back together and justify their actions in the events leading up to the explosion. With the distance of time and place, Mahajan uses empathy to get to some important insights that can help us understand the causes and effects of the ongoing violence in our world today. (Viking. March)

 The Fishermen by Chigozie Obioma. Softcover. $19.49. Set in the Nigerian town of Akure in the 1990s, this novel is narrated by nine-year old Benjamin, the youngest of four brothers. When a local madman prophesies that the oldest of the boys is destined to be killed by one of his siblings, the brothers are sent down a path of violence that tears the family apart. On another, mythic level this may be a story of all Nigerians and Africans who are potentially destined to die by acts of violence. As the boys’ experience shows, violence is ultimately a matter or choice. (Back Bay. July)

 We're All in This Together by Amy Jones. Softcover. $24.95. This is a wonderful first novel told with a dry sense of humour by an author to watch. The Parkers of Thunder Bay are a typical family, one full of complications. When matriarch Kate Parker survives plummeting over a waterfall in a barrel — a feat captured on a video that goes viral — it’s Kate’s family who tumbles into chaos under the spotlight. Set over four days, the novel follows the Parkers’ misadventures as catastrophe forces them to do something they never thought possible: act like a family. (McClelland &Stewart. June)

 Misbehaving by Richard H. Thaler. Softcover. $21.95. Thaler has spent his career studying the radical notion that the central agents in the economy are humans: predictably error-prone and emotional individuals. Misbehaving is his frequently humourous account of the struggle to bring an academic discipline back down to earth, and change the way we think about economics, ourselves and our world. This is a book for readers of Thinking Fast and Slow who want more of those insights in the context of business and the economy. (Norton. July)

 Cool by Steven Quartz & Anette Asp. Softcover. $21.00. If you thought our collective yearning for cool was simply our weakness in the face of marketing and peer pressure, you’d only be partly correct. The authors of Cool argue that our innate drive to seek status and our instinct to rebel are what set us on the path to buy that SUV and the latest smartphone. Cool unpacks the social motivations behind today’s hip, ethical consumption, arguing that we should embrace, rather than deny, the power of consumption. (FSG. April)

 How to Listen to Jazz by Ted Gioia. Hardcover. $32.50. Both an appreciation of and an introduction to “the great American art form”, Gioia’s book offers readers a series of listening strategies to help listen to and appreciate jazz for the rest of their lives. Covering everything from the music’s structure and history to the basic building blocks of improvisation, he shows exactly what to listen for in a jazz performance. Whether you’re new to this music or a long time fan, it is worth taking in what this award-winning music scholar has to say. (Basic Books. May)

 Black Hole Blues by Janna Levin. Hardcover. $35.95. On the same day as the new Harry Potter book was announced, the Advanced LIGO team announced that they had detected gravitational waves from a merger of two black holes about 1.3 billion light years from Earth. For some, this second announcement was even more exciting because it confirmed something Einstein had predicted 100 years ago. In her book, Levin tells the stories of the perseverance of the characters involved in the journey leading up to this discovery, and shows just how difficult the road from theory to proof can actually be. (Knopf. April)



Mary Roach

Death, the afterlife, sex, space travel — freelance writer and humourist turned accidental science journalist, Mary Roach asks the questions we all wonder about but are usually too polite to mention. Her books include Stiff, Spook, Bonk, Packing for Mars and Gulp.

Her latest book, Grunt, tackles the science behind some of a soldier's most challenging adversaries: panic, exhaustion, heat, flies, noise. Roach visits a movie studio where amputee actors help prepare Marine Corps medics for the shock and gore of combat wounds. At Camp Lemmonier in east Africa, she discovers that diarrhea can be a threat to national security. Fashion design ers at U.S. Army Natick Labs explain why a zipper is a problem for a sniper. Roach samples caffeinated meat, sniffs an archival sample of a World War II stink bomb, and stays up all night with a crew tending the missiles on the nuclear submarine USS Tennessee.

She answers questions not found in any other book on the military: Why is DARPA interested in ducks? Why are shrimp more dangerous to sailors than sharks? Take a tour of duty with Roach, and discover why there really is no life like it. (Hardcover. $34.95. Norton. June)


Born on the 27th of August, 1962, in Reykjavik, Iceland, Sjón (Sigurjón B. Sigurðsson) began his literary career at the age of 15 when his first poetry collection was published. He went on to become a founding member of the neo-surrealist group Medúsa and acquired a high profile on the Reykjavík cultural scene. He has published numerous poetry collections and several novels, as well as written plays, librettos and picture books for children.

The mind-bending miniature historical epic is Sjón's specialty, and his new novel Moonstone is no exception. But it is also his most realistic and accessible work yet. Máni Steinn is gay in a society in which the idea of homosexuality is unthinkable. His city, Reykjavik in 1918, is homogeneous, isolated, and seems entirely defenseless against the Spanish flu, which is now lapping at Iceland's shores. But the outside world has also brought Icelanders cinema, and there is nothing like watching a film from Europe to escape the overwhelming threats and make you feel like everything is going to be all right. For Máni Steinn, the question is whether, at Reykjavik's darkest hour, he should retreat all the way into this imaginary world, or if he should engage with the society that has so soundly rejected him. (Hardcover. $24.99. FSG. August)


Tem-Purr-A: Come & Get It!

Foodies can't resist the urge to participate in the annual Japanese eating contest. But can they stomach it?

In Tem-Purr-A, the goal is to eat as many dishes as possible while avoiding indigestion. Change dishes when you can't take any more, or try to cause indigestion for other players. A simple, fun, push-your-luck game where you  risk having eyes that are too big for your stomach.

For 3 to 7 players aged 8 & up. Playing time 20 minutes. $19.00.


Holy Smoke

Through stories, essays, photographs, easy-to-follow techniques, and 100 fool-proof recipes, Weber's New American Barbecue by Jamie Purviance puts a modern spin on barbecue classics in a celebration of what's happening at the grill today. From chefs creating new classics to everyday backyard heroes melding flavours to pitmasters setting new standards of excellence at competitions, this book explores the delicious evolution of a summertime passion. (Softcover. $34.99. Houghton Mifflin. May)

Project Smoke by Steven Raichlen is the How to Grill of smoking. It is a complete step-by-step guide to mastering the gear and techniques of smoking, plus a collection of 100 recipes for smoking every kind of food, from starters to desserts. Raichlen's seven steps to smoked food nirvana include: choose your smoker, source your fuel, know when your food is done. Includes an in-depth rundown on various smokers, essential brines, rubs, marinades, and sauces. (Softcover. $34.95. Thomas Allen. May)

The One True Barbecue by Rien Fertel chronicles the unique art of the whole hog barbecue through the professional pitmasters who make a living firing, smoking, flipping, and cooking 200-plus pound pigs. This isn't your typical backyard pig roast, and it's definitely not for the faint of heart. For anyone who has enjoyed the taste of a hog done whole, The One True Barbecue is an eye-opening look at the fascinating and complex makeup of heritage and tradition. (Hardcover. $34.00. Touchstone. May)


A Mysterious Summer Awaits You

In a Stockholm city park, police discover the mutilated body of a young boy. Detective Superintendent Jeanette Kihlberg heads the investigation, battling an apathetic prosecutor unwilling to devote resources to solving the murder of a nameless immigrant child. But with the discovery of two more children's corpses, it becomes clear that a serial killer is at large. The Crow Girl by Erik Axl Sund, the pen name of Swedish duo Jerker Eriksson and Håkan Axlander Sundquist, with translation by Neil Smith, is the latest international hit to come out of Scandinavia, a psychological thriller that questions how much suffering one person can inflict upon another before creating a monster. (Hardcover. $36.95. Random House. June)

An ugly duckling as a child, Jodie Bentley had two dreams in life: to be beautiful and rich. She's achieved the first with a little help from a plastic surgeon, and now she's working hard on the second. Her philosophy on money is simple: you can either earn it or marry it. Marrying is easy, it's getting rid of the husband afterwards that's hard, that takes real skill. In Love You Dead, the twelfth book in Peter James' Roy Grace series, Detective Superintendent Roy Grace learns almost too late he has a Black Widow operating in his city of Brighton, one with a venomous mind and venomous skills. (Softcover. $23.99. Pan. June)

When Mama Loa, a witch doctor, tells Inspector Ramirez that people in the sky are going to die, he thinks she's crazy. After all, there hasn't been a violent death in Havana in months. But in Umbrella Man, the fourth book in the Inspector Ramirez series by Ottawa's Peggy Blair, things quickly change when a Russian is murdered, execution-style, on the Malecón and three flight crew members die in suspicious circumstances. When Russian intelligence officer Slava Kadun arrives in Havana warning that a CIA hitman has plans to assassinate Raúl Castro, Ramirez starts to wonder if the deaths are connected. With the political future of Cuba at stake, he has only hours to stop a cold-blooded killer. (Softcover. $22.00. Simon & Schuster. June)

It's the summer of love in late 1960s England. Basil D'Oliveira has just been dropped from the English cricket team; the war in Biafra dominates the news; and the Apollo 11 astronauts are preparing to land on the moon. In the midst of all this change, Sidney Chambers, now Archdeacon of Ely Cathedral, is still up to his amateur sleuthing. Charming, witty and intelligent, the six new stories in Sidney Chambers and The Dangers of Temptation by James Runcie find Sidney juggling his time between church and crime, with only an occasional break to witness, for instance, the creation of a classic rock song. (Softcover. $22.00. Bloomsbury. July)


THIN AIR 2016: September 23 to October 1

THIN AIR is Winnipeg’s week-long book club! The 2016 edition runs from September 23 to October 1. Plan your time accordingly for this city-wide flurry of readings, talks, interviews and discussions by top-notch writers of all genres and styles.

The folks at THIN AIR are currently hard at work securing writers, venues and special events. Here are some of the writers they have lined up for this year's Festival:

With many more to come. Visit for more details about the festival.


The Word on the Street

Join us on Sunday, September 18 for the 6th annual The Word On The Street festival in downtown Saskatoon. A full day of events for all ages will include readings, panel discussions, presentations, and lots of activities for children.

This year's featured writers include David Suzuki, award-winning scientist, environmentalist, writer and broadcaster, Norman Doidge, MD, author of the New York Times bestseller The Brain That Changes Itself, international bestselling novelist Shilpi Somaya Gowda, biologist and writer Mark L. Winston who won the Governor-General's Literary Award for his book Bee Time: Lessons from the Hive, award-winning science fiction writer Robert J. Sawyer, renowned mystery author Gail Bowen, children's writer Jane O'Connor best known for the popular Fancy Nancy books, singer/songwiter Bif Naked, journalist Joe Friesen, author of The Ballad of Danny Wolf, and many more stellar presenters.

A lively program of events from 10:30 am to 5:00 pm in the heart of Saskatoon will appeal to every reader. Come and meet the authors, get signed copies of their books, and enjoy a day of entertainment for the whole family. Visit The Word on the Street website for more details.



“If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking.” — Haruki Murakami

The Physics of Sorrow by Georgi Gospodinov, translated from the Bulgarian by Angela Rodel.
Told in fits and starts, tangents and dead ends, this playful novel is described by the narrator as a labyrinth. On the surface it is a web of stories about his family, jumping from era to era and viewpoint to viewpoint, exploring the mindset and trappings of Eastern Europeans at the end of the twentieth century. At the centre of this maze is the sorrowful, misunderstood Minotaur who, through no fault of his own, was born with a bull's head and hidden away forever in solitude. This is a book that you can get pleasantly lost in, anchored only by empathy with the "monster" at the heart of it all. (Softcover. $21.95. Open Letter Books. 2015) — Chris Hall

Ladivine by Marie NDiaye, translated from the French by Jordan Stump.
The most recently translated novel from the acclaimed author of Three Strong Women is a harrowing, hypnotic, and elegantly written novel. Once a month Clarisse Rivière leaves her family and secretly travels to visit her mother, Ladivine. Clarisse feels great shame and pity for her mother, from whom she has hidden every aspect of her life. Ladivine knows nothing of her daughter, who she refers to as Malinka, nor of Clarisse’s daughter who also bears the name Ladivine. When Clarisse is murdered, her estranged family must find a way to carry on in the shadow of her deception and shame in this psychological tale of great subtlety and intensity. (Hardcover. $35.95. May. Knopf) — John Toews


What Do Parents Do When the Experts Disagree?

Caring deeply about our children is part of what makes us human, but is parenting a hands-on or a hands-off endeavour?

In Raising Human Beings, Ross W. Greene (Lost at School, The Explosive Child) argues that parents need to figure out who their child is — what are the child's skills, preferences, beliefs, values, personality traits, goals and direction?— get comfortable with it, and then help the child pursue and live a life that is congruent with it. But parents also want to have influence. They want their kid to be independent, but not if he or she is going to make bad choices. Greene offers a detailed and practical guide for raising kids in a way that he believes will cultivate a better parent-child relationship while also nurturing empathy, honesty, resilience and independence. (Hardcover. $35.00. Scribner. August)

Alison Gopnik claims that the thing we call "parenting" is a surprisingly new invention. In The Gardener and the Carpenter, she argues that the 21st century picture of raising children is profoundly wrong. It's not just based on bad science, it's bad for kids and parents too. Gopnik believes that parenting is not a matter of shaping children to turn out a particular way. Children are designed to be messy and unpredictable, playful and imaginative, and to be very different both from their parents and from each other. The variability and flexibility of childhood is the very thing that lets them innovate, create, and survive in an unpredictable world. (Hardcover. $29.99. FSG. August)


Designer Stationery by Christian Lacroix

Internationally renowned haute couture designer, Christian Lacroix, brings his sophisticated sense of taste to this series of lifestyle stationery that is unique, exuberant and colourful. Prices range from $13.50–$31.00. Available in both Winnipeg and Saskatoon.

Calligraphy: Lettering with Flair. Beginning Wednesday November 9, artist and calligrapher John Smeulders presents a four-session afternoon course to teach the basics of producing written messages that are as beautiful on the page as they are memorable in meaning. Pre-registration is required. The cost is $106.00 per person. Register online here.

Please note that Community Classroom courses are only available at our Winnipeg location.


Olympic Trials

The Games by David Goldblatt tells the epic story of the Olympic Games from their reinvention in Athens in 1896 to the present day, chronicling classic moments of sporting achievement from Jesse Owens to Nadia Com─âneci, the Miracle on Ice to Usain Bolt. He goes beyond the medal counts to explore how international conflicts have played out at the Olympics, including the role of the Games in Fascist Germany and Italy, the Cold War, and the struggles of the postcolonial world for recognition. He also tells the extraordinary story of how women fought to be included on equal terms, how the Paralympics started in the wake of World War II, and how the Olympics reflect changing attitudes to race and ethnicity. (Hardcover. $38.95. Norton. August)

The Treasures of the Olympic Games by Neil Wilson brings to life, through more than 200 photographs and 20 removable artefacts, the history of the summer Olympic Games. Beginning in 776 BC in ancient Greece through to its revival in 1896 and the 26 subsequent Games, Wilson charts the event's history as well as a wealth of world sporting achievement. A book of dreams, this is the first time that the Olympic Museum has co-operated in producing an interactive book containing facsimiles of rare historical documents from their exclusive archive, allowing readers to get closer to the world's greatest sporting spectacle than ever before. (Hardcover. $55.00. Carlton Books. July)

The people of Brazil celebrated when they learned that in the space of two years their country would host the world's two largest sporting events: the World Cup in 2014 and the Olympics in 2016. Now they are protesting in numbers the country hasn't seen in decades. Dave Zirin's Brazil's Dance with the Devil exposes how sports and politics have collided in spectacular fashion. One of the Boston Globe's "Best Sports Books of 2014," this edition has been newly updated to assess the final tally of debt and displacement that accompanied the 2014 World Cup, eyewitness accounts of the militarized police crackdown, and new reporting on the pre-Olympic plans furthering the misery in cities across Brazil. (Softcover. $26.50. Haymarket. July)


Personal Politics

Jessica Valenti has been a leader on gender and politics for over a decade. Now, in her memoir Sex Object she explores the toll that sexism takes on women's lives, from the everyday to the existential. From subway gropings and impostor syndrome to sexual awakenings and motherhood, Valenti reveals the painful, embarrassing and sometimes illegal moments that shaped her growing up in New York City. (Hardcover. $31.99. HarperCollins. June)

In 2012, Tig Notaro was hospitalized with C. diff, her mother died, she went through a breakup, and then she was diagnosed with bilateral breast cancer. Hit with this devastating barrage, she took her grief to the stage, breaking new comedic ground by discussing her cancer. In I'm Just a Person, one of America’s original comedic voices delivers an emotionally raw account of her year of death, cancer and epiphany. (Hardcover. $33.50. Ecco. June)

Trying to Float by Nicolaia Rips is a seventeen-year-old’s big-hearted memoir about growing up in New York City’s Chelsea Hotel. Nicolaia is a perpetual outsider who has struggled to find her place in public schools. The kids there might never understand her, but as Nicolaia endeavours to fit in she begins to understand that the Chelsea’s motley crew could hold the key to surviving the perils of a Manhattan childhood. (Hardcover. $34.00. Scribner. July)


Angela Merkel, Queen of Europe

Angela Merkel by Matt Qvortrup is the fascinating tale of Merkel's political ascent in which she outmaneuvered her male colleagues and made Germany the strongest economy in Europe. With the storytelling gifts of a novelist, Qvortrup gives readers unprecedented, insight into Frau Merkel's upbringing under communism, describing how the Secret Police tried to recruit her as a spy, how she lived as a squatter in Berlin, and how she went from distributing leaflets to sitting at the Cabinet table in Helmut Kohl's government in less than a year. A fascinating account of a woman with a doctorate in quantum physics who has become the undisputed queen of Europe. (Hardcover. $48.95. Overlook. July)


Nature's Ways

Many people think of microbes as germs to be eradicated, but those that live with us — the microbiome — build our bodies, protect our health, shape our identities and grant us incredible abilities. In I Contain Multitudes, Ed Yong takes readers on a grand tour through our microbial partners, and introduces us to the scientists on the front lines of discovery. Informative and entertaining, Young aims to change our view of nature and our sense of where we belong in it. (Hardcover. $34.99. HarperCollins. August)

With an arc that spans from the dawn of animal life to the digital era, On Trails by Robert Moor reveals how trails — from tiny ant trails to interstate highways — shed new light on a wealth of age-old questions: How does order emerge out of chaos? How did animals first crawl forth from the seas and spread across continents? How has humanity's relationship with nature and technology shaped the world around us? And, ultimately, how does each of us pick a path through life? (Hardcover. $34.00. Simon & Schuster. July)


Life's a Picnic

Make your picnic dreams come true with our fine lines of picnic baskets and picnic accessories. 

A selection of Picnic Baskets from Picnic Time. The model featured in the image above includes porcelain plates, wine glasses, cutlery, linen tablecloth and napkins in a lined wicker basket. $168.00. There is also the Deluxe Harmony Wine Case in mahogany leather for $140.00, and the suitcase style portable briquette barbecue from Wild and Wolf for $90.00.

Please visit us in-store to browse all of our available picnic items.


Great New Summer Fiction

Rabih and Kirsten meet, fall in love, get married. Society tells us this is the end of the story. In fact, it is only the beginning. With trademark warmth and wit, Alain De Botton (Architecture of Happiness, How Proust Can Change Your Life) explores the complex landscape of a modern relationship in his first novel, The Course of Love. (Hardcover. $29.95. McClelland & Stewart. June)

Madeleine has spent her whole life trying to fit in. But when she discovers a journal detailing her grandmother’s romantic summer in Jazz Age Paris, she begins to wonder if there is more to life than playing by the rules. In The Light of Paris by Eleanor Brown (The Weird Sisters), Madeleine begins to create her own Parisian adventure during a summer visit to her old hometown. (Hardcover. $35.00. Putnam. July)

Two young women, a Caribbean immigrant in 1960s London and a bohemian woman in 1930s Spain, are linked by a mystery that comes to light when a painting is left on the doorstep of a gallery in London, England. In The Muse, Jessie Burton (The Miniaturist) spins a tale of desire and ambition in which the tides of history shape and define our lives. (Softcover. $22.99. HarperCollins. August)

When Josie's ex asks to take the children to meet his new fiancée’s family, Josie rents an old RV and makes a run for it. Heroes of the Frontier by Dave Eggers (A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, The Circle), is the darkly comic story of Josie and her two young children on a journey through an Alaskan wilderness plagued by a uniquely American madness. (Hardcover. $34.95. Knopf. August)

In the 17th century, two young Frenchmen, René Sel and Charles Duquet, arrive in New France. Bound to a seigneur for three years, they become wood-cutters. In Barkskins, Annie Proulx (The Shipping News, “Brokeback Mountain") tells their stories and those of their descendants over a span of three hundred years in this epic novel about taking down the world’s forests. (Hardcover. $39.99. Scribner. June)


What's the Big Idea?

In the past, culture was a kind of vital consciousness that constantly rejuvenated everyday reality. Now it is largely a mechanism of distraction and entertainment. An examination and indictment of this transformation, Notes on the Death of Culture by Mario Vargas Llosa traces a creeping decline whose ill effects have only just begun to be felt. (Softcover.$24.00. Picador. August)

With the publication of the Eleventh Edition of the Encyclopædia Britannica in 1911, this twenty-nine volume anthology of some of the best essays written in English was eagerly embraced by readers. In Everything Explained That Is Explainable, Denis Boyles tells the improbable story of the Britannica’s Eleventh Edition, still considered by many to be the last great work of the age of reason. (Hardcover. $40.00. Knopf. June)

But What If We’re Wrong? by Chuck Klosterman explores the possibility that our currently held beliefs and assumptions will someday seem absurd. Klosterman asks straightforward questions about gravity, time, our notions of democracy and freedom, and the value of popular culture as he attempts to visualize present-day society the way it will be viewed in a distant future. (Hardcover. $35.00. Penguin. June)

If you're like most people, you think that your choices and behaviours are driven by your personal tastes and opinions. Not so according to Jonah Berger. His book Invisible Influence explores the subtle factors that affect the decisions we make, from what we buy, to the careers we choose, to what we eat. Integrating research and thinking from business, psychology, and social science, Berger focuses on the subtle, invisible influences behind our choices as individuals. (Hardcover. $35.99. Simon & Schuster. June)

With the founding of Preview Magazine and First Statement in Montreal during the 1940s, many of Canada's greatest modernist poets found early homes for their work. Based on interviews conducted by David O'Rourke in the 1980s with F.R. Scott, P.K. Page, Irving Layton and others, Once There Were Giants is a vivid oral history of the times, places and the people involved in taking the first steps toward building a Canadian Literature. (Hardcover. $36.95. Cormorant. June)


Community Classroom: Water Lessons

During the last two weeks of August, the Community Classroom focuses on Water, featuring over a dozen different classes on the subject. Whether it’s about classical water music compositions, the politics of water or water as a spiritual element, check the list of August water classes on this page to find out what you should know about water (to narrow the search, look under the "Category" drop-down box and select The Water Series near the bottom of the list).

Favourite educators Don Anderson, John Einarson, Karen Toole, Susan Moffatt, Christian Artuso and Lara Rae join a talented group of newcomers in our classroom, including Merrell-Ann Phare (Executive Director of the Centre for Indigenous Environmental Resources), Jake MacDonald (outdoors man and bestselling author), Paul Jordan (CEO of The Forks North Portage Partnership), Vicki Burns (Save Lake Winnipeg), Eva Pip (University of Winnipeg), and Tasha Spillett (activist and educator). Pre-registration is required, and you must register separately for each class. Register online.

(Please note that Community Classroom courses are only available at our Winnipeg location.)


Cool Trips

The sixtieth parallel marks a borderland between the northern and southern worlds. Wrapping itself around the lower reaches of Finland, Sweden, and Norway, it crosses the tip of Greenland and the southern coast of Alaska, and slices the great expanses of Russia and Canada in half. An intimate journey of the heart and mind, Sixty Degrees North by Malachy Tallack explores the landscapes of the parallel and the ways that people have interacted with those landscapes, highlighting themes of wildness and community, isolation and engagement, exile and memory. (Hardcover. $34.95. Pegasus. July)

In Land of the Midnight Sun, Alexander Armstrong heads north to explore an Arctic winter among the glittering landscape of Scandinavia, the isolated islands of Iceland and Greenland, and the final frontier of Canada and Alaska. He learns from the Marines how to survive in the extreme cold, takes a hair-raising drive along a treacherous 800-mile road that's a river in summer and reluctantly plunges into the freezing Arctic waters. Combining discovery and humour, Armstrong takes readers on an exhilarating journey to the farthest reaches of the globe. (Softcover. $18.99. Corgi. July)



Music CDs & Records

Neil Young. Earth. 2-disc CD Set $19.99. Neil Young‘s new live set, enhanced by studio overdubs, does more than offer a new take on favourites from across his storied career. In a collection of 13 songs performed without interruption over a 98 minute concert, Earth combines reinterpretations of Young's environmental songs featuring the Promise of the Real band along with sounds of the earth, from car horns to cows. The album includes tracks taken from last year’s The Monsanto Years to his 1970 classic After the Gold Rush, as well as the previously unreleased song “I Won’t Quit”. (Warner Music. June)

Jeff Beck. Loud Hailer. CD $15.99. The legendary guitarist's first studio album in six years combines fluid fretwork with topical lyrics to make a powerful statement about everything from the love of power to the power of love. The record contains 11 tracks that span funk, electronic music, soul and the blues with an emphasis on vocal songs. To help him write the 11 tracks, Beck teamed up with London singer Rosie Bones and guitarist Carmen Vandenberg. Bones lends her powerful voice to nine of the songs, with Beck rounding out the album with two of his signature instrumentals. (Warner. July)

Paris to Kyiv. Fragmenti Remixes. CD $20.00. Paris To Kyiv’s Fragmenti was originally released in 2005, a sonic tapestry of ancient Ukrainian song fragments and contemporary sounds. Nearly 11 years later, the remix album explores crossroads between the ancient Ukrainian sounds of Alexis Kochan’s Paris to Kyiv project infused with delicately crafted 21st century electronic wizardry. Other contributors include Greece’s Cayetano, composer Joe Silva, Canadian house music pioneers Miguel Graca and Trevor Walker, and a pair of remixes by Balanced Records’ founders Kasm and Solidaze. (Indie. May)

The Beach Boys. Pet Sounds 50th Anniversary Edition. 4-disc CD & Blu-ray Audio Set $95.99 / 2-disc CD Set $21.99 / Vinyl $25.99. The Beach Boys' 1966 album, Pet Sounds, is universally hailed as one of popular music's most important recordings of all time. Fifty years after its original release, the 13 songs flow like few records before or after it. But what didn't make it onto the original record — the early fragmented takes of classic songs like “Sloop John B” or the snippets of dialogue between Brian Wilson and the musicians — reveals Wilson crafting the album that would become his masterpiece. (Universal. June)


DVD & Blu-Ray Movies

The New World directed by Terence Malick. 3-disc Blu-ray set $52.99. Malick's singular vision of early seventeenth-century America reimagines the apocryphal meeting between British explorer John Smith (Colin Farrell) and Powhatan native Pocahontas (Q’orianka Kilcher) as a romantic idyll between spiritual equals, then follows Pocahontas as she marries John Rolfe (Christian Bale) and moves to England. A poetic meditation on nature, violence, love and civilization, The New World is a film of uncommon power and technical splendour that shows Malick at the height of his visual and philosophical powers. (Criterion. July)

Green Room directed by Jeremy Saulnier. DVD $26.99 / Blu-ray $29.99. Down on their luck punk rockers The Ain't Rights are about to call it quits when they get a booking at a club deep in the backwoods of Oregon. What seems merely a third-rate gig escalates into something sinister when they witness an act of violence they were not meant to see. Intense, emotional and ingeniously twisted, Green Room stars Patrick Stewart as the diabolical club owner in a brilliantly devious portrayal of a man who is elegant yet lethal, droll yet terrifying as he squares off against the surprisingly resilient punk band. (Alliance. July)

Murdoch Mysteries Season 9. 5-disc DVD set $79.99. Based on characters from the novels by Maureen Jennings, the series takes place in Toronto around the turn of the 20th century and follows Detective William Murdoch (Yannick Bisson) of the Toronto Constabulary as he solves many of his cases using methods of detection, such as fingerprinting, blood testing and surveillance, that were unusual at the time. The interplay between the inquisitive though troubled and gently pious Murdoch with his more down-to-earth colleagues are what have made this resilient Canadian TV series a success around the world. (KRK. August)

McCabe & Mrs. Miller directed by Robert Altman. Blu-ray $48.99. Altman's unorthodox western may be the most radically beautiful film to come out of the New American Cinema that transformed Hollywood in the early 1970s. It stars Warren Beatty and Julie Christie as an enterprising gambler and a bordello madam, both newcomers to a raw Pacific Northwest mining town, who join forces to create a superior kind of whorehouse. With its fascinatingly flawed characters, evocative cinematography, soundtrack, and songs by Leonard Cohen, McCabe & Mrs. Miller deglamorized and revitalized an American genre. (Criterion. August)




McNALLY ROBINSON for Babies, Kids, and Teens



Baby toys, teddy bears, clothing, gifts, and, of course, books in our baby boutique


Cool and Stylish Summer Wear for Your Baby

Small Potatoes
Small Potatoes is a Prairie-based, all-Canadian company specializing in hand-made baby clothing and accessories. If you’re looking for something for your own little bundle of joy or a unique baby shower gift, Small Potatoes has something cool and stylish for your baby.

MAE Bonnets
These lovely cotton and lace baby bonnets are hand-made in Winnipeg and fully reversible. Small and medium sizes available. $25.00.

Please visit your nearest McNally Robinson bookstore to browse any of our MAE Bonnets and Small Potatoes items.


Hands-on Fun Books for You & Your Baby

Get the buzz on bugs in this board book edition of Some Bugs by Angela DiTerlizzi. Featuring butterflies and moths, crickets and cicadas, bumblebees and beetles, this zippy rhyming exploration of backyard-bug behaviour will have young insect enthusiasts bugging out with excitement! (Board Book. $10.99. Little Simon. June)

Day Dreamers by Emily Winfield Martin shows little ones that letting their imaginations run free will lead them into fantastical day dreams. Whether cloud-gazing or wandering through a museum, reading a book or playing in a tide pool, the children in this board book encounter magical creatures such as dragons, unicorns, griffins, and jackalopes. (Board Book. $11.99. Random House. August)

Look out, there's a Ticklemonster about! And he's off to tickle all his animal friends, from the pigs on the farm to penguins at the zoo. Join Tom and Bear in The Tickle Book by Ian Whybrow, as they follow the Ticklemonster on his adventures. But watch out, you might get tickled too! With illustrations by Axel Scheffler, The Tickle Book has a flap to lift on every page, so children can join in the fun! (Softcover. $12.99. Macmillan. July)


Teething Jewellery & Accessories for Wee Ones

Elephant Shoe Teething Co. offers mothers simple, stylish and functional teething jewellery and accessories. Made from 100% non-toxic, eco-friendly silicone beads and natural wood, these items are designed with your baby's well-being in mind.

Please visit your nearest McNally Robinson location to browse these teething items.




Summertime Storytime!

Summertime! It’s time for ice cream, trips to the beach, and lots of reading, of course! Whether you’re staycating at home or spending some time at the cottage, add these summery picture books to your repertoire and read away those hot summer days.

A poignant and beautiful bedtime picture book, Cricket Song by Anne Hunter connects two children on different continents in this gentle primer on the interconnectedness of humanity. (Hardcover. $23.99. Houghton Mifflin. March) (Ages 4-7)

One Day in the Eucalyptus, Eucalyptus Tree by Daniel Bernstrom and illustrated by Brendan Wenzel is an amusing tale of a plucky little boy who is gobbled up by a giant snake. Consuming his victims at an alarming rate, this snake doesn’t realize that his captives are planning their escape! The syncopated text makes this a perfect book for reading aloud. (Hardcover. $21.99. HarperCollins. May) (Ages 4-8)

Boy and Bear are Cale Atkinson’s intrepid Explorers of the Wild. These explorers are prepared for anything — except each other! When Bear and Boy meet in the woods, they're scared at first. But soon these kings of the wild realize that no mountain is too big to conquer if you have a friend by your side. (Hardcover. $17.99. Disney. May) (Ages 2-5)

When two sisters are ushered outside to play, one sits under a tree with a book while the other regales her with descriptions of a cool fort in a tree that grows ever more fantastical in the telling. What will it take to get the older sister to look up? Find out in Secret Tree Fort by Brianne Farley. (Hardcover. $22.00. Candlewick. April) (Ages 4-8)

In A Brave Bear by Sean Taylor and illustrated by Emily Hughes, Little Bear and Dad head to the river to cool off. It is quite a long day, but that’s no problem for a very brave bear. With its lush illustrations and simple text, this book depicts a summer day lovingly shared between parent and child. (Hardcover. $22.00. Candlewick. April) (Ages 2-5)


An interview with Esme Shapiro

Ooko has everything a fox could want: a stick, a leaf and a rock. Well, almost everything… Ooko wants someone to play with too! Ooko is a charming tale of friendship from a talented new author-illustrator, Esme Shapiro. (Hardcover. $19.99. Tundra. July) (Ages 3-7)

McNally Robinson's Devon Arthur recently sat down with Esme Shapiro to talk about Esme's work.

You’ve worked in many different disciplines — editorial illustration and murals, to name a few. What brings you to picture books?
I have worked in various disciplines because I think it is important to be unafraid of working with different structures, mediums, and limitations. Ultimately, I am drawn to making picture books because there is something really powerful that happens when the written word and illustrations are given a chance to interact. The words give clues to where the illustrations are trying to lead you, and the images expand on what the words could never express.

Could you talk a bit about your book making process? What comes first, the pictures or the words? Or are they simultaneous?
I find that the process of making a book is almost like sculpting. At the beginning, there is this feeling that the story and the images are already there, but I just need to carve them out and bring them to the surface. I have learned that it is important to stop trying to control the process and let the story come to me like a little beast hiding in a cave. The images and the story often come to me simultaneously. While I am working on the final images for a book, I like to fill my apartment with the illustrations so I can really feel like I am entering into that world. With Ooko, for example, I hung all of the drawings on strings with clothespins around my room. I would wake up in Ooko’s world and fall asleep in it too. It helped me feel truly connected to the story.

Who are some picture book makers who have inspired you?
I am really inspired by the simplicity and sincerity of the Moomin Troll comics by Tove Jansson, as well as the beautiful block prints of Dahlov Ipcar.

Did you have a favourite picture book as a child?
As a kid my favourite books were the ones that both attracted and repulsed me. I loved the darkness of Grimm’s Fairy Tales, and the eeriness of Maurice Sendak’s story In the Night Kitchen. I also adored anything by Roald Dahl, especially Esio Trot. I found that these books gave me insight into a less than perfect reality, and that really helped expand and develop my inner world.


Summer Fun at McNally Robinson

Preschool Storytime
For kids aged 3-5, Storytime continues throughout the summer. In Winnipeg, this takes place every Wednesday at 10:00 am in the Atrium, and in Saskatoon every Tuesday at 10:30 am. No registration is required, just drop in. Children, however, must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Saturday Craft Table in Saskatoon
At our Saskatoon location, check out our Saturday craft table, starting June 25. This is a free-for-all, all-day kids table featuring a variety crafts. (Saskatoon location only.)


It's a Potter Party

In celebration of Harry Potter's birthday, J.K. Rowling's birthday, and the release of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, McNally Robinson Booksellers and Prairie Ink Restaurant are proud to present Harry Potter Parties in both Winnipeg and Saskatoon on July 30th, 2016.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is the eighth story in the saga, featuring an adult Harry Potter grappling with the past and his youngest son, Albus, who is struggling with the weight of his family's legacy. It is the first official Harry Potter story to be presented on stage, and will debut on July 31st, 2016, in London's Palace Theatre. The script was written by Jack Thorne, with contributions from J.K. Rowling and John Tiffany, and will be released in book form to coincide with the play's debut.

Incidentally, July 31st is both Harry Potter and author J.K. Rowling's birthday.

To celebrate all of this, McNally Robinson and Prairie Ink Restaurant are hosting Harry Potter themed midnight-release parties. The Winnipeg party will take place in Assiniboine Park, and the Saskatoon party will be at our Saskatoon bookstore. Both parties will begin at 9:00 PM on July 30th and run until after midnight, which is when Harry Potter and the Cursed Child will be officially released.

The parties are free and open to the public, and there will be plenty of entertainment and activities throughout the evening. For specific details on the party nearest you, visit the Winnipeg party listing or the Saskatoon party listing. You can also stay up to date on party details on Facebook (Winnipeg or Saskatoon) and Twitter (Winnipeg or Saskatoon).

At midnight (12:00 AM on July 31st) we will be releasing Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Vouchers, required to claim the book, are now on sale at our bookstores, and will be available to purchase at the party. For those in Winnipeg who do not wish to attend the party in the park but would still like to claim a book at midnight, we will have booksellers at our Grant Park bookstore handing out copies.

Read The Party Particulars for our Winnipeg Potter party >>>


Ravaaga's Magical Wands

One of our amazing booksellers has created something special for you.

Will you choose your wand, or let it choose you? Knowaella Ravaaga, the creator of these wands, is based in Saskatoon. Each piece is meticulously handcrafted into a unique design. Choose from a colourful, fantasy look or natural wood designs. A great idea for completing your cosplay, costume, or for playing dress-up. Embrace your inner magic. $14.99.

Available in both Saskatoon and Winnipeg. Please visit your nearest McNally Robinson location to find the right wand for you.


Summer Boredom Busters

Following the success of Creaturepedia, Adrienne Barman returns with Creaturepedia Activity Book, a companion colour and activity book, bursting with rainy-day activities. Informative and fun, this book is filled with facts, creatures to colour in, 50 stickers and a double gatefold poster at the rear. (Softcover. $10.99. WideEyed Editions. June)(Ages 5-8)

My Family Travel Map from Lonely Planet is an interactive map that turns your family's journeys into a work of art. The giant, fold-out map can be personalised to chart where you've been, what you've seen and where you want to go. There are over 180 colourful stickers to add, in different shades for each member of the family, and the map is perforated for easy removal so you can display it proudly on your wall. ($20.99. Lonely Planet Kids. May) (Ages 5-7)

Science Experiments You Can Eat by Vicki Cobb, with illustrations by Tad Carpenter, is a hands-on book of edible science experiments! With revised and updated material, a brand-new look, and offering hours of innovative, educational experiments, this science classic demonstrates the scientific principles that underpin the chemical reactions we witness every day — just by cooking. (Softcover. $12.50. HarperCollins. July) (Ages 8-12)

Grab your markers or coloured pencils and get creative by colouring scenes from Waldo’s adventures in Where's Waldo? The Coloring Book by Martin Handford. Waldo insiders know that the intrepid traveller likes to sketch wherever he goes. Now fans are invited to follow suit by colouring Waldo’s classic scenes, from intricate landscapes to larger-scale images, while keeping an eye out for Waldo, of course, and other things, too! (Softcover. $15.00. Candlewick. June) (Ages 4-8)


Beach Toys for Girls & Boys

Dig into fun with the Scoppi
Kids can use both their hands and their feet to move sand around the beach with the Scoppi. It comes with a detachable sifter that can be used to build sand forts, moats and castles. (Quut. $35.00) (Ages 3 & up)

It's not a bucket, it's a Ballo
It doesn’t even look like a bucket. But your kids will use it like one, and that’s what makes the Ballo so unique. Its spherical shape makes it surprisingly stable so kids can carry water from the sea to a sandcastle, or anywhere, with ease. (Quut. $20.00)

Please visit your nearest McNally Robinson location to browse our selection of fun beach toys.


Summer Reading Club

In Winnipeg
Our 2016 Summer Reading Club runs from June 24 to September 6. Join the club, join the fun. Anyone who is reading independently can join and the rules are super simple. Purchase three kids books and pick a prize from our treasure chest. Purchase three more books and you receive a free book, valued at $10 or less. Please register in person at McNally Robinson for Kids to receive your book club cards and enjoy a rewarding summer of reading fun.

In Saskatoon
Join the club, join the fun. Our 2016 Summer Reading Club starts Saturday June 25. Anyone who is reading independently can join and the rules are super simple. Purchase three kids books and pick a prize from our treasure chest. Purchase three more books and you receive a free book, valued at $10 or less. Please register in person at McNally Robinson for Kids to receive your book club cards and enjoy a rewarding summer of reading fun.


Two Thumbs Up

Our Two Thumbs Up Review Program gives kids and teens (ages 10 & up) an opportunity to review hot (as in, hot off the press!), new books for our McNally Robinson website. Here's how it works: sign out an advance reading copy (ARC) of a new title from our "behind the desk" supply, read the book, write a short 50-100 word review. If you are from Manitoba, you can email your review to us at [email protected]. If you are from Saskatchewan, you can email us at [email protected], or bring your review in person to your nearest McNally Robinson bookstore. Then take another book and do it again! To check out the reviews or for more information visit this page. (Fine print: We will require a parent's signed permission to publish your review on our website.)





In case you missed the hardcover, here are some great novels now out in PAPERBACK.

Sixteen-year-old and not-so-openly gay Simon Spier prefers to save his drama for the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight. Now change-averse Simon has to find a way to step out of his comfort zone before he's pushed out. A knockout debut novel by Becky Albertalli, Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda is a poignant 21st century coming-of-age coming-out story, all wrapped up in a geek romance. ($12.50. HarperCollins. June)

Of course Zoe didn't like Philip Digby when she first met him. He's rude and he treats her like a book he's already read. But Zoe is new in town and her options for friends are limited. And before she knows it, Digby has dragged her into his investigation of a missing local teen girl. Trouble Is a Friend of Mine by Stephanie Tromly is a quirky crime novel where catching the crook isn't the only hook. ($14.99. Puffin. June)

Aza Ray Boyle suffers from a lung disease that makes it hard for her to breathe. So when she is taken aboard a sky ship, she discovers not only can she breathe, she has immense power. Above the clouds in a land of trading ships called Magonia, she also discovers that war between Magonia and Earth is coming. In Magonia by Maria Dahvana Headley, Aza has the fate of humanity in her hands and must decide where her loyalties lie. ($12.50. HarperCollins. June)

In Mare Barrow's world, those with Red blood serve the Silver-blooded elite. Mare is a Red, scraping by as a thief, until a twist of fate throws her in front of the Silver court, where she discovers she has an ability of her own, one that both empowers her and imperils her. Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard is a sweeping story of palace intrigue, class hierarchy and deception. ($13.50. HarperCollins. June)


The Runaways

Bo Dickinson is a girl with a reputation, a deadbeat dad, and a mama who's not always sober. Agnes Atwood is legally blind, has never even stayed out past ten, and never broken any of her parents' overbearing rules. Despite their differences, or maybe because of them, Bo and Agnes become best friends. So when Bo shows up in the middle of the night, with police sirens wailing in the distance and desperate to get out of town, Agnes doesn't hesitate to take off with her. In Run by Kody Keplinger, bestselling author of The DUFF, Bo and Agnes find themselves on a wild road trip where they must confront a number of ugly secrets. (Hardcover. $22.99. Scholastic. July)

With a keen eye for the quirks and ironies of small-town life, Jane Ozkowski’s Watching Traffic captures the bittersweet uncertainty of that weird, unreal summer after high school — a time that is full of possibility and terrifying at the same time. But what if you have no idea what you want your new life to look like? What then? While her friends get ready to take on the world, Emily wonders whether she will end up working forever at Pamela’s Country Catering while listening to the distant hum of the highway leading out of the town everyone can’t wait to leave. (Hardcover. $16.95. Groundwood. August)

In American Girls by Alison Umminger, Anna is a fifteen-year-old girl slouching toward adulthood, and she's had it with her life at home. So Anna "borrows" her stepmom's credit card and runs away to Los Angeles, where her half-sister takes her in. As Anna spends her days on TV and movie sets, she engrosses herself in a project researching the murderous Manson girls. Although the violence in her own life isn't the kind that leaves physical scars, she begins to notice the parallels between herself and the lost girls of LA, and of America, past and present.(Hardcover. $20.50. Flatiron Books. June)


The "Be First" Book Club

Our Winnipeg “Be First” reading group for teens is a book club with a difference. Receive a preview copy of a selected title, read the book before it even hits the shelves, then join us to discuss it. The registration fee is $5.00. The pre-publication copies are limited. Please sign up asap. For more information, visit the Kids desk or call 204-475-0492. (Winnipeg location only.)

Everyone said the Graces were witches. They moved through the corridors like sleek fish, ripples in their wake. They had friends, but they were just distractions. They were waiting for someone different. They were waiting for River. Like everyone else in her town, River is obsessed with the Graces, attracted by their glamour and apparent ability to weave magic. But are they really what they seem? And are they more dangerous than they let on? The Graces by Laura Eve is a thriller that grips you from the first page. (Softcover. $22.95. Amulet Books. September)

Our discussion group meets Thursday, August 25 at 7:00 pm.


The Teen Watch List

• The Edge of the Light by Elizabeth George. (Hardcover. $24.99) August 16

• The Scourge by Jennifer A. Nielsen. (Hardcover. $22.99) July 21

• Spontaneous by Aaron Starmer. (Hardcover. $23.99) August 30

• Another Me by Eva Wiseman. (Hardcover. $21.99) September 13

• Maze Runner 5: The Fever Code by James Dashner. (Hardcover. $24.99) September 27




What's coming up in Winnipeg & Saskatoon


Le Marché St. Norbert Farmers' Market
On now to October. Saturdays 8:00 am to 3:00 pm, Wednesdays 11:00 am to 3:00 pm. 3514 Pembina Hwy. Manitoba's largest farmers' market features locally grown produce, fresh baking, homestyle jams and preserves, plus homespun crafts, uniquely designed jewelry, fresh cut flowers and much more.

Outdoor Downtown Farmers' Market
Every Thursday to September 24, 10:00 am to 3:00 pm. Manitoba Hydro Place, Graham Grove. This popular farmers’ market, offers fresh baking, jams, spices, meat, sauces, fruits, vegetables and preserves, plus crafts and jewellery.

The Forks Farmers' Market
Every Sunday from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm until September 25 in The Forks Plaza Parking Lot. From fresh baked goods and delectable preserves to straight off the farm fruits and vegetables, you'll find an assortment of local treats when you visit The Forks Farmers' Market.

Winnipeg Art Gallery
On now to September 11. Daphnis & Chloé, the latest [email protected] collaboration, features 42 lithograph prints that showcase Marc Chagall’s unique style. Widely considered the crowning achievement of his career as a printmaker, the series depicts the semi-erotic tale written by the Greek poet, Longus. Chagall created these colourful pieces in the 1950s, inspired by the great love of his life, Valentina.

Sight Unseen: International Photography by Blind Artists
On now to September 18. Canadian Museum for Human Rights. This exhibition explores the idea that blind people can see in ways that sighted people cannot. It features photographs by artists with various degrees of vision loss, who use different technologies and creative methods to express what they see.

West End BIZ Guided Mural Walking Tours
On now to August 26, Monday through Saturday. Have you ever driven by a mural and wondered about the symbolism behind? Then it's time to lace up your walking shoes and join West End BIZ for one of these all-ages tours. Call 204-954-7900 or email [email protected] to book your tour.

Winnipeg Folk Festival
Thursday July 7 to Sunday July10 at Birds Hill Provincial Park celebrating musicians both local and from around the world. See for this year's schedule and ticket information. McNally Robinson is proud to be partners with the Winnipeg Folk Festival's Protection and Wellness team who are providing assistance with safety and security matters at our Potter Party in the Park.

Rainbow Stage
On now to July 15. Ring of Fire is a raucous celebration of the music, spirit and life of legendary singer-songwriter Johnny Cash.

August 11 to 31. Shrek, the Musical. In a fairy tale that’s anything but ordinary, this Tony-winning musical takes us to a land far, far away where a grumpy ogre sets out to rescue a feisty princess with more than a few unlikely sidekicks.

The Winnipeg Fringe Festival
July 13 to 24. Various venues throughout Old Market Square and downtown Winnipeg. For 12 days every July, more than 170 companies present comedy, drama, dance, improv, musicals and more while Old Market Square comes alive with non-stop entertainment on the Outdoor Stage.

Ai-Kon 2016
July 15 to 16. RBC Convention Centre. Ai-Kon is a three-day event which runs around the clock from start to finish. Although Ai-Kon focuses on Japanese animation, comics and closely related media, the convention has branched out to include events that overlap with attendees' interests.

July 31 to August 13, at 40-plus pavilions located at venues across Winnipeg. Celebrate life and culture with world-class entertainment, delicious authentic food and cultural displays at the largest and longest-running multicultural festival of its kind in the world.

2016 Canada Basketball National Championships
August 1 to 6, daily 9:00 am to 9:00 pm. University of Winnipeg Duckworth Centre.

Manitoba Electronic Music Exhibition
August 11 to 14. MEME is Western Canada's leading electronic music and digital arts festival featuring 4 days of concerts, workshops and performances.

Intersellar Rodeo
August 12 to 14. The Forks. With its stellar artistic line-ups, unique wine pairings and gourmet food trucks, Interstellar Rodeo is an intimate, taste-making music festival that has quickly become a Winnipeg summer entertainment staple.



July 9 & 10. Western Development Museum, 2610 Lorne Avenue. Experience Saskatchewan pioneer life at Pion-Era 2016 for two days of fun for the whole family. Events include: Harvest Pancake Breakfast, Vintage Fashion Show, Interdenominational Church Service and Hymn Sing, The Story of Threshing & The Parade of Power.

A Taste of Saskatchewan
July 12-17. Kiwanis Memorial Park. Saskatoon's festival of fabulous food features over 30 of the city's finest restaurants serving their house specialties in beautiful Kiwanis Memorial Park. Enjoy old favourites or try something new, A Taste of Saskatchewan is Saskatoon's Flavourite event. The festival also features over 55 Saskatchewan bands and performers.

The Saskatchewan Festival of Words
July 14-17. Downtown Moose Jaw. Now celebrating its 20th anniversary, this annual literary festival features 60 events over 4 days in and around historic downtown Moose Jaw in a showcaseof literary talent from all over Canada. Enjoy readings, concerts, film, panel discussions, interviews, music, theatre, and even a slam poetry competition, as well as workshops for all ages. The 2016 guest line-up includes Sharon Butala, David Carpenter, Lorna Crozier, Connie Gault, Tracy Hamon, Connie Kaldor, Nino Ricci, Robert J. Sawyer, Art Slade and many more. See you there!

Back to Batoche Days
July 14-17. City of Batoche. The Canadian prairies are the centre of the Métis culture and Saskatchewan is at the heart of it all. Back to Batoche Days is a rich blend of all things Métis: jigging, square dancing, fiddling, bannock-baking, colourful Métis sashes, flower beaded leatherwork, arts and crafts displays, educational seminars and displays, along with an exciting annual line-up on the main stage, and more. The festival is family oriented, and is drug and alcohol free.

Ness Creek Music Festival
July 14-17. Big River Saskatchewan. This outdoor music and culture festival takes place in Saskatchewan's boreal forest and features four days of great music, camping, and community.

Shakespeare on the Saskatchewan
July 16-August 21. Located in the Big White Tents off Spadina Crescent, Saskatoon. This year's productions feature a post apocalyptic twist on the classic Julius Caesar, which is performed by an all-female cast. Expect the unexpected in a playful production of A Midsummer Night's Dream, featuring sharp wit and beautiful costumes. And don’t miss The Roving Show in which you are invited to venture out of the tent on the riverbank to just outside the festival site where four actors and a few props make some theatre magic with maybe a little help from the audience.

FMG Dragon Boat Festival
July 22 & 23 Rotary Park, Saskatoon. FMG Saskatoon Dragon Boat Festival is Saskatoon's largest river event with more than 2500 participants. A safe, fun use of the South Saskatchewan River, the Dragon Boat Festival gives back to the community through philanthropy of participants and spectators. Registered teams are encouraged to raise funds for the two designated charities: Ronald McDonald House Charities Saskatchewan and The Children's Wish Foundation Saskatchewan.

Potashcorp International Fringe Festival
July 28-August 6. Broadway District. The PotashCorp Fringe Theatre and Street Festival is an annual theatre and cultural celebration in the heart of the Broadway District in Saskatoon. Four city blocks are the outdoor setting for theatre, arts, crafts, food and busking for 40,000 annual visitors.

John Arcand Fiddle Fest
August 11-14. The John Arcand Fiddle Fest is a four-day, family-friendly, affordable festival. A one-time gate admission gives you complete access to workshops, concerts, showcases, competitions, old time dances, Métis Cultural Camp and more. There’s free shuttle service from four Saskatoon locations, free un-serviced camping, an on-site concession and a large children’s activity area.

Folkfest '16
August 18-20. Various venues throughout Saskatoon. Folkfest is an annual three-day multicultural festival showcasing 18 ethnic pavilions. They promote their cultures through dynamic entertainment, delicious ethnic cuisines and intriguing demonstrations and engaging displays.



Keep cool with a variety of specialty cocktails made with the best spirits, liqueurs, fresh juices and garnishes at Prairie Ink this summer. Each of our locations is featuring their own selection of special drinks made with locally-sourced liquors and ingredients.

In Winnipeg, enjoy a Raspberry vodka cocktail muddled with basil, served in a martini glass with a sugared rim and topped off with tonic water. Or try a Limoncino on the rocks with white cranberry juice and a little lemon juice. Both are light, summery drinks, perfect for keeping cool on a hot day.

In Saskatoon, enjoy a Dill Pickle Caesar, a twist on the classic Caesar using dill pickle vodka from Last Mountain Distillery, a blend of spices and garnished with a house made pickle; a Frozen Ginger Peach, fresh peach and ginger puree blended with ice, whiskey from Last Mountain Distillery, and amaretto, and garnished with a swirl of grenadine; a Sour Cherry Smash, featuring locally grown sour cherries infused with fresh mint and served over ice with whiskey from Last Mountain Distillery and club soda; or a Saskatoon Berry Beer Cocktail, a pint of Crazy Farm beer from Prairie Sun Brewery infused with Saskatoon berry liqueur from Luck Bastard Distillery and amaretto.

Prairie Ink continues to present free live music every Friday and Saturday night throughout the summer from 8:00 pm to 10:00 pm. See our Winnipeg events or Saskatoon events calendar for details.

For more information on Prairie Ink, or to make a reservation, please give us a call.
Winnipeg 204-975-2659 | Saskatoon 306-955-3579

Visit our Prairie Ink site for hours, menus, upcoming events, and more.


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